It’s not pasta repassed in a pan…It’s not run-of-the-mill spaghetti with tomato sauce…It requires seriousness and devotion…It’s Spaghetti Assassina.
The most famous recipe involving the use of cooking spaghetti entirely in a frying pan.
What separates this pasta from the rest are two elements, both related to the way it is cooked: The crispiness of the spaghetti and the very intense tomato flavor encapsulated in the pasta.
The academy recommends avoiding bronze-died pasta or one that is super starchy.
The original recipe starts with dry spaghetti, rehydrated using the risottatura technique,” explains Romano.
The heat under the pan should be significant so the recipe requires a high flame.
SPAGHETTI ALLA ASSASSINA
- 12 oz Vermicelli or Spaghetti
- 2 Cups Tomato Puree
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Chili Pepper to taste
- Prepare a broth made with water, 1½ cups purée, and plenty of tomato paste and salt, and bring to a boil. According to the academy, the sauce “must be bright red and tasty, but still a broth.”
- In the iron frying pan, add ½ cup oil, 3 garlic cloves (core removed), and chili pepper to taste. Dell’Erba suggests keeping 2 whole and chopping 1. Cook the garlic over a high flame until golden then pour in around ½ cup tomato purée. To temper the acidity from the tomatoes, you can add 1 tsp. sugar.
- Spread the purée over the whole pan with a wooden spoon and let it reduce slightly. At this point put the uncooked spaghetti in the pan, distributing them in such a way that the pasta collects the sauce.
- “Now the chef starts to take a step back,” explains Dell’Erba. “You don’t have to be in a hurry to turn everything, you have to wait for some of the spaghetti to start the shining process, not burning, but caramelizing”
- Stir spaghetti as it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan a little, swapping the top layer of noodles for those already glossy from having been stuck to the bottom
- At this point add 2 medium-sized ladles of the tomato “broth.” The liquid will sizzle and start to simmer. Let it reduce without turning the spaghetti and “listen” for the boiling point. When you hear it “sizzle” again (the noise changes sharply), keep your distance and wait for the “burning” process to continue (this will take 30 seconds to 1 one minute)
- Repeat, stirring to remove the burnt spaghetti from the bottom of the pan while adding more tomato liquid
- Each addition must correspond to the time needed for it to sizzle and then repeat by soaking the pasta with the sauce. The stiff spaghetti will start to bend, and the whole process takes about 8-9 minutes. – the assassina “must suffer"
- The result is a hard spaghetti with a different consistency than boiled spaghetti, but only the burnt ones “crunch.” You need to taste it to decide the level of cooking and burning, and serve it when you think it’s ready – bring the pan directly to the table